Old Mother Hubbard’s Sun-dried Tomato & Courgette Pasta

Sun-dried tomato & courgette pasta

Monday. Ick. Not only does the house feel really empty after a weekend of family frolicking, but it’s also the day that the fridge could pass as belonging to Old Mother Hubbard. This is what I found on inspection of said fridge this morning:

  • Half a bag of mixed salad leaves
  • Half a bag of watercress
  • Half a white cabbage (this thing was huge when it arrived in our veg box a fortnight ago – it weighed more than mini-L when he was born, and that’s saying something…)
  • 3 leeks
  • A couple onions
  • Garlic bulb
  • A really sorry looking bit of ginger
  • A courgette

Hmm. Not feeling especially inspired, but out comes an onion, the garlic and courgette anyway.

Next is a frantic pore through the contents of my dried food cupboard, which is crammed full of kilner jars containing decanted lentils, beans and pulses – all of which are useless to me today as they need pre-soaking for at least 8 hours and I have less than four before lunch needs to be on the table. And then suddenly, there it is. A thing of joy. The ingredient that would transform a humble courgette into a lunch fit for a hungry omnivore and his almost-vegan wife. Sun-dried tomatoes!

I take six toms from the packet, slice them and soak them in warm water for a while (I don’t know how long because I’m rubbish at checking the time, but long enough for me to catch up on last week’s The Good Wife, check my emails and plan my days studies) before I get on with the job of preparing our meal.

Old Mother Hubbard’s Sun-dried Tomato & Courgette Pasta

200g brown rice pasta

1 courgette, diced

1 small onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

6 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in warm water* (keep the soaking water)

2 tbs tomato puree

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp basil (I used dried as my black thumb prevents me keeping fresh, but you do you)

  1. Put a pan of salted water on to boil. Add a good splash of olive oil to the water (this prevents your pasta from sticking together). When the water is boiling add your pasta and stir.
  2. In a frying pan warm a tablespoon of olive oil and then add the onion and garlic and sauté over a medium-low heat. When the onion is soft but not coloured add the cumin and stir. When fragrant, add the courgette. Sauté some more until the courgette starts to soften and then add the sun-dried tomatoes with their soaking water and the tomato puree to the pan. Was this starts to thicken, add the basil and stir to incorporate.
  3. Keep an eye on your pasta sauce and if it gets too thick, spoon in some of the water that your pasta is cooking in.
  4. When the pasta is cooked al dente (tender but with a slight bite), drain it and then stir it into the pasta sauce, ensuring that all of the pasta gets coated with the sauce.
  5. Serve! We used up the mixed salad leaves and the watercress because that’s what we had available.

Although this was pretty easy – you can’t really go wrong with pasta, right – it turned out to be just the thing for a miserable Monday in Shropshire. I know cumin might sound like an odd ingredient but it seriously works! It adds a little zing to the flavour and gives the sauce a meaty quality which is essential when feeding a vegan meal to Mr. L, aka the king of meat eaters.

*Why did the toms need soaking in warm water? Because these are literally just dried tomatoes in a packet; no herby-oil-bath-in-a-jar for these babies…

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